Within and Beyond

Interesting this: Wikipedia does not note the existence of the three-door estate. It does list a 2-d00r saloon, a 4 door saloon, a coupe and a five door wagon plus the enigmatic two-door van.

Mystery: Opel Rekord D

And a picture search reveals very little like this but does show the 5-door estate, and a two-door saloon in some numbers. Is this a Danish-market special? No, but it was not very widespread. Continue reading “Within and Beyond”

A Photo for Sunday (Micropost): 2001 Opel Combo

Other sites may concern themselves with exotica and luxury brands.

2001 Opel Combo

Well, we do too but we also have space for bread-and-margarine cars like this 2001-2011 Opel Combo (C). Was this the car that prompted a jealous Mercedes Benz to launch the VaneoContinue reading “A Photo for Sunday (Micropost): 2001 Opel Combo”

Theme: Aftermarket – Let’s All Think About This, Shall We?

I will try to focus this one on the aftermarket wheels and not the car they happen to adorn.

1991 Opel Omega B2

It’s a 1999-2003 Opel Omega (B2 to those in the know). As I said before, in the aftermarket we find tricky ground. Who am I to say these wheels are not the ones for this car? My argument is that the wheels have really low-profile rubber and they do not help the rest of the suspension do its job which in this car’s case was high-speed stability and comfort rather than maximum grip at intermediate speeds. Continue reading “Theme: Aftermarket – Let’s All Think About This, Shall We?”

A Moment Within A Moment Passes

This vehicle hid in the backlot of an Opel dealer near me. 

It would have been difficult to take many photos without attracting attention so this is all I have. It must be among the very first of the new Insignias in Denmark. What do I think?

Continue reading “A Moment Within A Moment Passes”

Two Lions, Four Continents, One Car

General Motors – the name is a clue – are virtuosos in the art of the world car. This is not to say they haven’t played a few bum notes in their time. 

Source: Motor Australia

It’s too early to speculate how the Opel Insignia B will perform on its world tour, but its diverse audiences will demand versatility as well as capability. Launched proudly earlier this year in Switzerland, the Insigregaldore carries four badges; a lightning bolt, a mythical beast which appears to be self-conscious about underarm odour, three shields, and from February 2018, a lion. Continue reading “Two Lions, Four Continents, One Car”

A photo for Sunday: Bertone’s Star

At long last, the final Astra F variant: the cabrio.

1994 Opel Astra convertible

Bertone designed this and sold it for four years, from 1994. Bertone went on to do the Astra G coupe. As I expected, the version I snapped was aubergine. If they came in other colours, I haven’t seen one.  Continue reading “A photo for Sunday: Bertone’s Star”

2017 Opel Insignia Meta Review

This has to conclude my Opel binge. It’s a thematic collation of AutoExpress, Autocar and Car‘s reviews of the new Insignia.

2017 Opel Insignia GS: Opel.de

The reviews have been chopped up and organised under a few headings. They aren’t consistent as they seem to have all based their views on different versions of the car.

Read on to get the digest of the reviews…

Continue reading “2017 Opel Insignia Meta Review”

Princess and the Pea

This isn’t about the Opel Insignia though the words came from a review of the car. It’s about what kind of lives automotive journalists lead. It’s about language.

Where does “reasonable comfort” lie on this scale?

“The previous Insignia fulfilled the purpose of getting you from A to B in a well-equipped and reasonably comfortable manner…” wrote Car magazine the other day. What could they possibly mean***?  Continue reading “Princess and the Pea”

A Photo For Sunday: 1984-1991 Opel Kadett

This car is a kind of pithy comment on recent Opel news. 

1984-1991 Opel Kadett E
1984-1991 Opel Kadett E

You don’t see many around and you see even fewer Golfs and Escorts of the same period. The same goes for the other cars. My street is a nest of Astras (saloons, mostly) and I think this is a tangible riposte to the assumption that there’s something wrong, in principle, with Opel. Interestingly, or tellingly, I saw the new BMW 5 series today, Continue reading “A Photo For Sunday: 1984-1991 Opel Kadett”

The Great Compression

Opel’s slow walk into the history books, to join Panhard and Saab, has begun. It occurred just as I came to understand what Opel was about.

2017 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer: source
2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport: source

You can read the technical details here. The important and ominous part is this: “Tavares told his board that PSA would redevelop the core Opel lineup with its own technologies to achieve rapid savings, according to people with knowledge of the matter” (from AN Europe).

While I was reviewing the last generation Opel Astra, I noted that the description of the mechanicals differed little from its peers. So, you might say, where is the great loss? Even if you don’t care for Opel, its absorption into the PSA combine will reduce meaningful competition among the most important classes of cars.

Continue reading “The Great Compression”

Credit Where It’s Due

This review concludes a slow tour through the middle-market. It’s the Astra’s turn.

image
2015 Opel Astra sports tourer in rental car drab.

DTW has tested the Ford Focus, Megane, the Golf and the Auris. That means I can put some of those reviews in perspective as well as offer some insights on the corresponding offering from Opel, the Astra. It’s quite handy that all the cars tested came from the same source, which eliminates variables like colour and engine specification. So, it’s quite a level playing field the Astra and its peers are playing on.

Continue reading “Credit Where It’s Due”

Theme : Brochures – Vauxhall Ampera

It is always chastening to see humanity’s schemes laid low. From the grand boasts that accompanied the launch of the Titanic to some of the pledges that Barack Obama was not able to fulfil; even with the best of intentions we sometimes underperform.

ampera-7

Earlier this month we looked at the first brochure for the 1998 Fiat Multipla. Brimming with optimism, or some have suggested hubris, the public generally avoided the enthusiasm of that car’s creators. And now we look at another ‘failure’, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera. Introduced in early 2012, the Europeanised version of the Chevrolet Volt was on sale in the UK for little more than two years. Continue reading “Theme : Brochures – Vauxhall Ampera”

Torpedo from the East, Incoming

PSA may purchase Opel. This story has been bubbling for a while and it has bubbled some more, like the sinister upwellings on the surface of a lava pool.

2017 Opel Insignia GS: Opel.de
2017 Opel Insignia GS: Opel.de

The Guardian has reported that PSA would expect rapid savings were they to buy Opel. “Carlos Tavares, the chief executive of PSA, which owns Peugeot, Citroën and DS, said on Thursday morning that adding GM’s German Opel and British Vauxhall brands would attract new customers and generate substantial cost savings. An outline agreement is expected to be announced as soon as next week, before the Geneva motor show starts on 6 March”, wrote the formerly Mancunian paper.

This is bad news for car buyers as Opel models will be subsumed into PSA’s model structure. There is not much tangible difference  Continue reading “Torpedo from the East, Incoming”

Two Items About Designers

Two designers with long careers provide an insight worth looking at.

Alfa Romeo 156: autoevolution.com
Alfa Romeo 156: autoevolution.com

Two of our regular authors run their own blogs, which we have mentioned before. Mick has taken a look back at the work of Walter de Silva and finds much to praise but also there’s a sore point which is worthy of attention: de Silva’s penchant for absent rear door handles. I will admit to having been swept along on the unthinking currents of received wisdom. Now the point has been made I realise I had not been critical enough. And a ever-present thought that I had ignored now seems as plain as day: that 156 would be perfect were it not for the silly faux-coupé trope. Continue reading “Two Items About Designers”

Bottom Up, Top Down Or Whatever

A manufacturer’s range can draw its visual reference from either the smallest car or the largest.

2017 Opel Crossland X: source
Artist´s impression of 2017 Opel Crossland X: source

Peugeot is a famous case of its style being led by a car from the bottom of the range. The 1983 Peugeot 205 ended what was seen at the time as a rough period for the firm. Subsequent models referred to the 205 in the hope that 205 magic might rub off. Top down is the reverse: the big car leads. Yesterday the news wires burned incandescent with discussions and reports of Opel’s new Crossland X, a vehicle dimensionally very similar to the Mokka. Continue reading “Bottom Up, Top Down Or Whatever”

Back to Nature

Astra battles West Cork foliage. Foliage wins.

Astra fans of a delicate disposition should look away now. Image: Driven to Write
Astra fans of a delicate disposition really ought to look away now. Image: Driven to Write

As I get older, I find that many things I still view as contemporary are in reality, decades old. Music, fashion, events – cars even. The subject of this photo is a case in point. Old enough to be dismissed as a banger, yet to my mind at least, still sufficiently contemporary for this scenario to be unusual. Continue reading “Back to Nature”

A Photo For Christmas Day

And a very happy Christmas to our readers.

image

Here is a working car, heading the wrong way, from new to neglected. It’s getting tatty and probably won’t have a next owner. These Omegas disappeared quite rapidly after production ceased in 2004. The period reviews had an approving tone, especially with regard to ride quality.
Continue reading “A Photo For Christmas Day”

To the Victor …….

For some reason, I’ve been thinking about the chance of a better future recently. Car advertising always promises that. Cars seldom deliver it.

victor-couple

insigniaThe better future is what most the people in old car adverts seem to take for granted. A trim young couple grin out at me, assuming things will just carry on getting better and better. For them, maybe they did. Certainly their marriage was statistically going to last a fair bit longer than that Vauxhall Victor F that they seem to be so pleased with, but which is probably rusting already. Today, that Insignia may no longer originate in Luton, but it may well last far longer than the modern couple. If they are a couple. Or maybe they’re just colleagues. Actually they look a damn sight more pleased with themselves than with the Vauxhall. Continue reading “To the Victor …….”

Chasing Premium: 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport

We examine Opel’s new upmarket offering.

2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport: Opel.de
2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport: Opel.de

“It would appear that emissions, efficiency and cost are driving the V6 over a cliff. I would not wager a whole lot of money that Opel will still offer a V6 when the Insignia is replaced.” We got that one right. Opel revealed the 2017 Insignia-replacement the other day and we find that “the engine range is made up exclusively of turbocharged four-cylinder units and is crowned by a 247bhp 2.0-litre engine”. (Autocar)

This is somewhat odd Continue reading “Chasing Premium: 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport”

Theme: Places – Ascona

A reflection on the car and the town: Ascona.

1972 Opel Ascona: source
1972 Opel Ascona: source

Ascona could be a place that takes you to other places, as in the driver’s seat of the Opel Ascona (1970-1988) or it could be the town in the Locarno district of Switzerland. I have to admit that until very recently in my life the Opel’s Swiss association lingered at the very far back of my mind. It lurked somewhere with Portuguese kings and medieval musical instruments. For most of my time on earth Ascona meant not a nice Swiss town but an unremarkable shape that usually rusted by the side of the road.
Continue reading “Theme: Places – Ascona”

Corsa Revisited

As promised during the weekend here is a small reconsideration of the Opel Corsa, this time the 1.4 litre, 75 PS petrol five-door.

2015 Opel Corsa 1.4 Cosmo
2015 Opel Corsa 1.4 Cosmo

We had a short review of the 1.0 litre version in the summer of 2015 and decided it was okay. This time I have the 1.4 litre mid-spec version to try.

I can immediately say that the uprated interior decorations make for a much more festive feeling. The steering wheel looks like it’s the nice one from the Adam and so the upshot of this is that without wood and leather and shades of beige, it still makes for a comfortable and quite convivial driving environment. My notes, written up after a hard charging day at the wheel, list the nice steering, smooth uptake and HVAC controls that won’t cause you to Continue reading “Corsa Revisited”

Micropost: 2016 Opel Corsa

In the rental car lottery I drew the Corsa straw. There will be a short report on it before very long.

2015 Opel Corsa
2015 Opel Corsa (not the car tested).

The first thing I noticed related to the spec. They have Adamed this version so it has more of a feel-good factor than the one I rented in 2015. I drove off in the dark which somehow made me more aware of the delightfully light steering and also the fun way the dials do a test sweep of the car’s instrument faces. It’s a pleasant vehicle to drive around town and the city-steering makes it a breeze. The day’s mission is a four hour drive over motorways and country roads. We’ll see the car bears up in the course of the day…

Goodbye MPVs and Other Opel Stuff

MPVs are so ’00s. Opel have announced the name of their new small CUV, the Crosslander which replaces the Meriva. Autocar said so too. As did BBC’s Top [Insert Name of Presenter here]

2016 Opel Meriva interior: source
2016 Opel Meriva interior: source

Opel used lot of design talent on the Meriva. It had a superb interior with some excellent colour and fabric options. The window line was unique in that it recognised the fact the kids in the back might want to see out. That’s user-centred design which I can only applaud. Those doors too. Continue reading “Goodbye MPVs and Other Opel Stuff”

Micropost: the 1998-2004 Opel Astra Comfort

Not another Astra, Richard. Yes: it’s the rare 3-door with full Comfort spec.

image

That means green-grey velour, rear headrestraints and rear centre armrests plus a/c. Did any Focus or Golf three door have such luxurious trim? If it wasn’t such an unusual trim-body combination I would not have tried to photograph it.  Generally, three door versions of the cars used to be priced lower than the five doors and were more budget-orientated. Opel offered another path to top-level trim so you could avoid the five door if you wanted.

1987-1993 Opel Kadett Cabriolet

For two wonderful years the Opel Kadett and Opel Astra F shared space at Opel dealers across this wonderful continent (1991 to 1993). 

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1987-1993 Opel Kadett convertible.

And Bertone in Turin supplied the car too. That Bertone supplied the mechanism and built the bodies is news to me. It competed with the Ford Escort cabriolet, made by Karmann, and the Golf cabriolet, made by Karmann, which was the Mk 1 Golf, as per 1974 minus a roof. In addition to traditional Opel qualities, the Kadett also had a certain degree of Italian style lacking from its peers… Continue reading “1987-1993 Opel Kadett Cabriolet”

Theme: Colour Micropost

We haven’t quite got around to exploring this so much.

Opel Agila
Opel Agila Njoy edition

In mitigation, I’ll present the interesting colour combination of the Opel Agila “Njoy” special edition. Critics of my Opel bias can roll their eyes if they wish. However, in keeping an eye out for bright, distinctive colours while roving around Germany it’s been Opels (Corsas, Merivas, Astras) that have been most likely to have characterful paint jobs. Continue reading “Theme: Colour Micropost”

Astra du Jour

This is the second last item in the collection, a mid-grey Astra F in five-door guise. 

1991-1997 Opel Astra F in Goslar, Germany
1991-1998 Opel Astra F in Goslar, Germany

The majority in my area are other colours and mostly saloons and estates. I saw this in Goslar, Germany. Nearby skulked a Ford Probe and that’s all the semi-interesting metal I can find in these parts. This generation Astra is not common here. This is one of very few.

Micropost: The Elusive 1991 Opel Astra in Metallic Light Grey

The vast majority of survivors are estates or saloons in dark green, dark blue or dark red . Never black.

Rare in this colour now: 1991-1998 Opel Astra 1.6 saloon
Rare in this colour now: 1991-1998 Opel Astra 1.6 saloon

What you don’t see are light metallic five door versions. However for the next version metallic grey became the default. The car here has the top trim but a mid-range engine, the 1.6 petrol. Continue reading “Micropost: The Elusive 1991 Opel Astra in Metallic Light Grey”

Anatomy Of A Star: 1991 Opel Astra

Twenty-five years ago, Opel launched the Astra F. As far as I can ascertain, this is the only place where you will find that event marked.

1991 Opel Astra: source
1991 Opel Astra: source

You might find it odd that DTW (or just is it just me) continue to bang on the Astra drum. One reason that I like to draw people’s attention to this is because the recognition of good design is often rendered harder by ancillary matters of fashion and consensus and I’d like people to see past that. The received wisdom is that in the C-class the Golf is the gold medallist. The Golf has many positive attributes: often its quality of construction is superior to the average of the day; some versions are acknowledged driver’s cars; some versions are neatly designed. However, the Golf’s arch enemy, the Astra has lingered too long in the shadows of the Wolfsburg car and if you are blinded by consensus you are missing something lovely. Continue reading “Anatomy Of A Star: 1991 Opel Astra”

Highlights for Sunday

The building opposite produced these reflections on the front wing of this Opel Mokka. 


Notice the red band which forms an ellipse around the top of the wheel arch flare and then runs up to the a-pillar. It’s quite a complex area. It would be even clearer if the red stripe on the building emitted light instead of reflecting it. You seldom see reflections like this in the street as there is so much ‘noise’ in the surroundings.

There was a huge red stripe on a big plain background that meant I could Continue reading “Highlights for Sunday”

2016 Opel Astra Revised

Hot on the tracks of yesterday’s revised Lexus RX, I have decided to see what the 2016 Opel Astra would look like without its fussy C-pillar.   

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This sketch is messier than the Lexus because of the number of panels involved and the number of alternatives. And I am no good at rendering. I decided to go first for a version where the side-glass stopped at the door cut-out. I could have added a pane aft of the door but left it as the Occam’s Razor approach to the problem. Then I tried to Continue reading “2016 Opel Astra Revised”

Sign of the Cross

It’s been confirmed the next Opel Senator will be a crossover – as indeed it appears will everything else. Are we approaching a tipping point?

Inspiration for the forthcoming Opel CUV? Image via autoblog
The new face of Opel. Image via autoblog

When GM showed the Avenir concept earlier this year, many viewed it as a sign Buick was serious about re-entering the full-sized luxury saloon market with something along more traditional lines. For enthusiasts here in Europe it prompted speculation as to the potential for a similarly proportioned model – a latter day Opel Senator if you will. Continue reading “Sign of the Cross”

Car Magazine Agrees With Us

DTW might be the world’s least influential car site but sometimes our views have some resonance. 

Car Magazine, November 2015, p.124.
Car Magazine, November 2015, p.124.

Some time back we ran an article about the Opel Speedster. We hinted that the high prices and scarcity of supply might make this a contender for early classic status. Car magazine seems to agree and describe it as “affordable, nailed-on classic in waiting.” Car considered it a “sensational driver-centric revelation”, they say on page 124 of the current edition. The next thing is that the Renault Wind will be talked up as one to keep an eye on. But we got there first in 2014.

A photo for Sunday: 1984-1991 Opel Kadett 1.3 S

Not another Opel. But it is. This is a follow-up to our Opel Astra saloon. I’d like to draw your attention to the fine detailing of the rear side window. 

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And the aerodynamically-shaped rear wheel arch looks good too. The interior is a study in Spartan efficiency. The centre stack rises from the floor in a neat column and to its left is driver-orientated binnacle. The seats in this car look quite unmarked and the rest of the car is nearly unaffected by the passage of time. I’d guess it’s a late-model car, one owner, with a garage. It has a 1.3 engine, so it’s pre-1988. If I hope to achieve anything with this focus on Opel, it’s to Continue reading “A photo for Sunday: 1984-1991 Opel Kadett 1.3 S”

Another Photo for Sunday: 1991-1998 Opel Astra

The light picked out the shape of the rear wheel arch flare.  

Opel Astra F seen in Denmark.
Opel Astra F seen in Denmark.

This is a grossly under-rated piece of industrial design. The saloon is especially dismissed. And unfairly too. I think it’s superb and very subtle.

2016 Opel Astra Reviews Review

How has the new Vauxhall Astra been received so far?

2016 Opel Astra: www.carscoops.com
2016 Opel Astra: http://www.carscoops.com

There are two approaches to this. From the US, motoring scribes are asking what the new Astra means for Buick since the Astra-platform is going to be used as a basis for forthcoming Tri-Shield cars. The European view is more direct since we get the Astra without American make-up.  Doubtless the Chinese are also asking about the Astra. It is sold there as the Buick Excelle XT. It’s the platform that matters rather than the dressing on top. The view is that the Astra had outgrown its class (whatever that really means). Continue reading “2016 Opel Astra Reviews Review”

2015 Opel Zafira 1.6 litre Innovation

We were talking about the relative merits of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso and other cars. This is my preferred choice in this class. Nobody offers a nicer interior in this class. The Meriva can be as lush too.

2015 Opel Zafira interio in Innovation specification. This will cost €33,000.
2015 Opel Zafira interior in Innovation specification. This will cost €33,000.

Continue reading “2015 Opel Zafira 1.6 litre Innovation”

Theme : Hybrids – GM Pushes The Definition

Was GM’s EV ever a contender? And is it a Parallel Hybrid? This is a revised version of a post published last October following the Opel Ampera’s withdrawal from sale. 

Ampera Owners

We laugh at giants at our peril. General Motors has made many mistakes in its existence, but it has scored lots of hits, and it’s still around. So, when they started taking EVs seriously, for the second time around after the controversial EV1 of the mid 90s, we needed to take GM seriously.

However giants take the small people for granted at their peril. GM’s very size means that it has little affection or goodwill going for it, so it will often be harshly judged. When the Chevrolet Volt, whose technology underlies the Ampera, first appeared critics were quick to accuse it of not being a pure EV, claiming that it was no more that a smoke-and-mirrors version of a Prius. Continue reading “Theme : Hybrids – GM Pushes The Definition”

2015 Opel Corsa 1.0 Ecoflex Review

By coincidence, on the heels of the Opel Adam Rocks, DTW has a chance to test its stablemate, the Corsa. Here are the main points of the news.

2015 Opel Corsa
2015 Opel Corsa

Having an opportunity to drive the “new” Corsa meant I could assess the car in isolation but also compare it to its zanier sister, the Adam. Mechanically the two cars are not far apart and the same goes for price. An Adam Rocks costs £14659 and an Opel like the one tested here costs £13,330 and more, depending on spec. The latter is a bit larger than the former and the Corsa comes in three and five door options (why no estate or convertible I wonder?). Continue reading “2015 Opel Corsa 1.0 Ecoflex Review”

2015 Opel Adam Rocks – A Second Opinion

Here is the Truth About Cars’ view of the Opel Adam. They have also reviewed the Rocks version. 

2015 Opel Adam Rocks: the Truth About Cars
2015 Opel Adam Rocks: the Truth About Cars

The article considers the Adam as a potential future Buick. And here is the conclusion (I note they find the ride quality better than I do but agree the car does a good impression of near-luxury. I am reviewing the new Opel Corsa soon and the contrast is marked.) Continue reading “2015 Opel Adam Rocks – A Second Opinion”

A Photo for Sunday: 1965-1973 Opel Kadett

The most interesting thing about the 1965 Kadett is that it donated parts to the Opel GT. And even more interesting is the 1968 Opel GT was made in France by Brisonneau and Lotz in Creil.

1963-1973 Opel Kadett
1963-1973 Opel Kadett

Eight versions of the Kadett could be had: four door saloon, two door saloon, two door fastback, four door fastback, a two and four door estate and two variants, one known in German as a Kiemencoupé and the other the LS coupé.

The Kadett has a fair amount in common with the themes of the Dipolmat/Kapitan/Admiral saloons (1964) and Rekord B but scaled down. It appears to have kicked off the series of Buick-inspired Opels which drew their inspiration from the 1963 Buick Riviera. Continue reading “A Photo for Sunday: 1965-1973 Opel Kadett”

2015 Opel Adam Road Test

Odd looks and a bit duller to drive than its peers. That’s what the others say about Opel’s city car. What does DTW think? After 300 km and three days we know the real truth.

2015 Opel Adam
2015 Opel Adam

The Opel Adam is a city car based on the Opel Corsa platform. Not unlike the Ford Ka Mk1, it is made up of the front of a supermini, with modifications (a reduction in length) starting from the A-pillar backward. The Adam’s selling point is customisation, with about 61,000 combinations of colour, trim and accessories available.

It is intended to Continue reading “2015 Opel Adam Road Test”

This Is The Next Opel Astra

Opel revealed the next model of Astra replacing the version which has been on sale since 2009.

2016 Opel Astra. More athletic-looking than the last car, says Opel: Opel.de
2016 Opel Astra. More athletic-looking than the last car, says Opel: Opel.de

According to Opel’s press release the new version is inspired by the 2013 Monza concept. They also say the car looks more athletic than the last version. On both counts I am uncertain. But what is less uncertain are some of the factual claims. The new car is between 120 kg and 200 kg lighter and has smaller exterior dimensions than before. However, the interior is more roomy. I expect in particular that the boot is bigger as that was one critique of the current car. Continue reading “This Is The Next Opel Astra”

The next Astra is already being tested

The 11th generation of the Astra on its way. Autocar were allowed to test a disguised prototype and reported on the apparent changes in comparison with the outgoing car.

2015 Opel Astra estate: www.opel.de
2015 Opel Astra estate: http://www.opel.de

The next Astra is going to be smaller and lighter but roomier inside. I am a little anxious that the next car is going to be less pleasant to look at than the current car which I regard fondly, especially in bechromed estate guise. However, one compensation is that Opel intend the new Astra to dispel the lingering criticism that they are duller to drive than its arch enemy, the Ford Focus. How will they do this? Continue reading “The next Astra is already being tested”

Design Rationalism: the 1986 Opel Omega

Here´s the German middle market take on design rationalism. 

1988 Opel Omega: the base model with no rear armrest or headrestraints. Probably the 2.0 litre four cylinder. These are best understood as shapes inspired by industrial product design and not car design.
1988 Opel Omega: the base model with no rear armrest or head-restraints. Probably the 2.0 litre four-cylinder. These are best understood as shapes inspired by industrial product design and not car design.

The main intention with this seems to have been to spell out its aerodynamic credentials. Hence the flush glazing, door handles and partly covered rear wheel arch. Commentators here note that it was not different enough from cheaper Opels such as the Astra. This is partly an effect of the shallow pressing and lack of relief but if you look closely you´ll notice the door frames are nicely finished in anodised metal. Opel would also have said that the Omega replaced the middle-market Rekord which was a spartan car too; the Senator B handled the higher end of the price spectrum and looked more distinguished. I would agree, the rear lamps are simply cheap looking.

Is this the next Opel Senator? (Part 2)

Automotive NewsAutoblogInautonewsArchy-news.com  all report that the upcoming Cadillac CT6 could provide the underpinnings for a future large Buick. This is excellent news for Buick who sell very well in China (outselling Cadillac thirteen to one) and also gives Buick USA a more appropriate flagship than the Enclave (an SUV) or Lacrosse (a saloon).

2016 Cadillac CT6 - another distinctive Cadillac name. Image: automotivenews.om
2016 Cadillac CT6 – another distinctive Cadillac name. Image: automotivenews.om

What is more interesting for Europeans is that this news also makes it seem likely that something similar or nearly identical could appear as a new Senator (though it may not bear that storied nameplate).

If Buick is to get a new range-topper it will probably look something like the very attractive Avenir concept car shown recently. Since there is already a strong overlap between Buick and Opel, it would not take very much to add an Opel touch here and there to help it slot into Opel´s existing range. Autoblog wrote about the conversion from Cadillac to Buick: “If a large Buick based on the CT6 were to head to China, though, it likely wouldn’t be a Continue reading “Is this the next Opel Senator? (Part 2)”

Here´s the engine for the next Opel Senator

Automotive News has reported that the 2016 Cadillac CT6 will be equipped with a twin turbo V-6 (below). We wonder if this device will also power Opel´s possible future range topper, the revived Senator.

2016 GM V6 twin-turbo engine
2016 GM V6 twin-turbo engine. Image from Automotive News.

This is what Automotive News said: “[a] spirit of innovation will extend to the sedan’s powertrain, with General Motors announcing that an all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 will be available under the CT6’s hood. The direct-injected V-6 is estimated to generate 400 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque. At 133 hp per liter, Cadillac claims, the new engine is one of the most power-dense engines of its type. By comparison, the same-displacement inline six-cylinder found in the BMW 7 series, which is expected to be one of the CT6’s key rivals, generates 315 hp and 330 pounds-feet of torque.” Thanks for those details. But you could have read that at AN yourselves (and if you haven´t, do). What is interesting for me is that this engine could very well also be used to propel a possible Opel Senator to be based on the Buick Avenir, should that make production. This will give a putative Senator a real USP in the market and allow it a fighting chance to compete with BMW, Audi and Mercedes.  Continue reading “Here´s the engine for the next Opel Senator”